Getting to the top of Digg  

Posted by Dino Gane-Palmer né Ganesarajah in ,

Stan Schroeder reveals the life cycle of a Digg story. The post is a fantastic analysis of how a story on Digg gets to the top, while others fail to do so. The key element to Digg's algorithm seems to be not the number of diggs, but the velocity of them: how many diggs a story gets per hour. Additionally, the diggs in the earlier part of the story's life cycle count for more than those in the latter part. Who has dugg the story is also important: the top users have higher influence.

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The end of the Windows desktop?  

Posted by Dino Gane-Palmer né Ganesarajah in ,

Back when I was using a 80386 PC in the 1990s, I would start up my pc and the first thing that would happen was that a black screen with a C:> single command prompt would appear. Most of the time, I would then just punch in the following command against the prompt:
C:> win
This command would boot up Windows 3, a graphical user interface for your PC. More and more applications were migrating to this platform, rather than being started up stand alone from the C:> command prompt. In 1995, Microsoft released Windows 95, marking the end of the C:> command prompt as the base platform. The base had platform shifted to the graphical user interface.

These days, the first thing I do when I start up my Windows XP PC is to start my Firefox browser. From here I can access my email on GMail and connect with my friends on Facebook. I have even started editing my documents online using Google Docs. I can see the end is near for the graphical user interface we call 'the desktop'. The platform is about to move again to the Web.

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The Silly Mistake epidemic  

Posted by Dino Gane-Palmer né Ganesarajah in ,

some useful advice I've found for my silly mistake epidemic...

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http://www.urch.com/forums/gre/11422-how-get-high-gre-quant-score-average-math-non-math-test-takers.html

The Silly Mistake epidemic

This is the number one reason why even the best math brains end up scoring 750-790 instead of the perfect score. This phenomenon is so common, that only a very few are gifted with the eternal vigilance necessary to avoid being struck by it. I was so vexed with it myself that I thought I was doomed to make a small mistake somewhere. By making yourself aware of the common types of silly mistakes you can greatly reduce becoming susceptible to them. What you have to do is to constantly keep them at the back of your mind during the test, and while solving a problem, just run a mental check to see whether your approach falls prey to most common types. Since each individual may find different concepts problematic, the best remedy is to make a list of your own math vices, which can be drawn from the many practice exercises that you solve. After a while, you’ll start seeing a pattern where you make the same kind of silly mistakes again and again. Note them down carefully. For example, some of the common types of silly mistakes are as follows.

1.Not considering zero, fractions and negative numbers while solving inequalities or picking numbers. Remember that when ETS say a number is real, it can be positive, negative, fractional or zero. Don’t assume it’s always positive and don’t draw your own conclusions.

2.Taking leave of common sense. Sometimes we get so involved with the nitty-gritties of mathematics that we start functioning like automatons and stop thinking. Don’t fall prey to this trap. For example, what is the probability that a number amongst the first 1000 positive integers is divisible by 8? Don’t start counting the multiples of 8! The figure of 1000 is a red herring. Use a little common sense. The numbers will be 8,16,24,32…So, 1 in every 8 numbers is a multiple of 8, even if you consider the first million integers. So Probability is 1/8 (Question from Power-Prep.)

3.Not drawing figures. Drawing figures, especially in questions relating to geometry, speed, etc. makes the question ten times easier to understand. Drawing figures also makes the question more true to life. For example, if ETS tells you that Sally lives 10 miles due west of John and Anna lives 14 miles due north of John, you can bet your farm they want you to use the Pythagoras theorem. Don’t miss the obvious; draw a diagram.

4.Forgetting definitions. If you forget that 1 is not a prime number, you’re making life hard for yourself. Definition questions are the easiest to solve.


The single most important requirement – The ‘open sky’ approach.

This is not really my brainchild and I read about it on some IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) website. They summed it up in one sentence straight: “To do well on the GRE you require a free and uncluttered mind”. This is so true. It was pathetic to see so many students on the test day, outside the test center, with open books, cramming something last minute. If you have to keep referring to your book (and unfortunately for them, on the test day) then you haven’t prepared well since you aren’t sure of yourself. Learn everything you can lay your hands on, but on the test day, your mind should be totally blank. Your mind should be like a Swiss Army Knife with all it’s blades in closed posisition, but ready to whip out any one when necessary. You never know what concept you may have to use on your test question, but you should feel confident that it’s there somewhere in your mind and that you can recall it when necessary. Sure, you’ll get your share of jitters on the test day, but those should not arise from a lack of confidence.

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8 ways to make digital content valuable  

Posted by Dino Gane-Palmer né Ganesarajah in , ,

Following on from my previous post summerising some concepts of free content distribution that are being talked about on the Internet: TechDirt point to a post by Kevin Kelly that describes eight ways in which scarcity can be added to digital content to make it valuable enough to pay for.

I think the first two that Kevin points out are particularly compelling:

  • Immediacy: imagine having tomorrow's content, today. What is interesting about this idea is that it is the opposite of the BBC opening up its Archive, which is centred around making old content available to viewers. Which would you pay more for: the next episode of Lost now instead of next week or an episode of Lost from a month ago? The answer to this question may vary depending on the type of programme that is substituted for Lost. In the same way that Jackson 5 songs have reemerged in charts of songs sold through iTunes, there may be some programmes that people will want to watch over and over again.
  • Personalisation: in a world where there are millions of websites and hundreds of TV channels, determining what and where to consume your media from can be challenge. Amazon.com has for years used technology to guide users to the things they are interested in. Imagine you could have all news you are interested in - what is happening in your local area, the latest news to feed your addiction to Le Mans racing - all of this for the same price as an in print daily newspaper. Would you buy it?

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